JOURNAL ENTRY: Tuesday 09 August 2016

I’m amazing myself that when I actually work my recovery, things get better. Strange that.

I noticed that when I first awoke this morning, there was an innate sense of peace. I fell back to sleep. Each time I woke up the peace was still there, until at about 09:19 then I finally decided to wake up, my mind kicked in and I let it. Then the peace was gone and the anxiety started to seep back in.

I’m going to list the running order of my day, as events have been helpful and supportive in returning me to sanity by this evening.

To start off with I listened to another chapter of Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance. There’s a suspicious undertone emerging in the story, and I think he’s talking about psychosis, some form of delusions or paranoid episode, culminating in a breakdown. This makes me a little nervous, as it’s a bit too close to home, but it’s a well written book and it is mostly right up my street, so I’m going to keep going and see what happens.

I meditated for 20 minutes. Day 9 of the Headspace Anxiety pack. It does feel like it is slowly starting to have a positive benefit. I’m not sure if I just got really disconnected from meditating because I was doing the relationship pack previously or because I am now taking medication and that in itself seems to just relax my mind a little. Either way, meditation is helping again. This is good news.

After that I had porridge, yogurt and toasted almonds for breakfast. Then, rather than simply begin the day, which I intended to do, I showered and shaved. I had to double take myself, but I realised, why do I allow myself to sit around in PJ’s or tracksuit and t-shirt all day and then shower just before I go out. That’s not really putting my own self care first, so I put myself first and decided that a positive attitude was to prepare myself for the day properly by showering, shaving my head and getting dressed in more appropriate, yet comfortable clothes. This did indeed help lift my self-worth a little.

VERY IMPORTANT POINT: I made a phone call to Richard, who somehow always knows exactly what I need to hear. He’s my recovery guru. Each time I’ve felt in a place of despair and I’ve mustered up the courage to speak to him, he’s given me something that really does change everything. It feels like he genuinely cares for me and genuinely loves me, which is what I take away each time and that little bit of love is enough to show me what love is and that’s all I need.

By this point my head was in the grey area. I felt neither anxious nor content. I could feel that it could swing either way, so I just tried to remain calm and thought about doing some more recovery work to occupy myself. Today I re-wrote my Inner Circle behaviours, which I have found therapeutic. I did this last year and then stopped paying attention to them. Redoing them today has really helped solidify what my symptomatic behaviours are. It has also helped me understand that may of my sexually obsessive and compulsive behaviours are really manifestations of the same thing from a co-dependent perspective. Even when I stop acting out sexually, I can still act out co-dependently. This is a very beneficial realisation, as it all points to a root cause of ‘mental illness’. Which means I can’t solve the problem using my head!

Inner circle stuff is not the cause of the problem, it’s the symptom, but when I stop acting out my bottom lines for long enough, I get some sense of clarity that helps me identify the cause of the problem. When I’m busy firefighting all the time, I forget that the solution is really very simple. I’m the problem so I am the solution, I just need to focus and work on me more and maintain that I am the solution, so that I stop thinking, feeling and acting as if I’m the problem.

I then had my weekly therapy session. I actually said to Amanda that I would like to do less talking this week and more listening. This seemed to reflect my general outlook and slight shift in perception, that I spent most of my time listening to the insane maniac inside my head, rather than the peace and serenity of my conscious-self. I seem to get much more peace when I stop listening to me and just ask other people, that I trust, what they feel I should or shouldn’t do.

Something else that came up in therapy today was that my feelings increase in every way when I am on medication, whereas other people generally report a dulling of feelings. For me, I think the medication starts to combat my OCD, rather than my mood and by helping calm my OCD I finally begin to get a little headspace, which then allows me to start feeling and when that happens I can connect with my suppressed emotions and start to feel better. For me, it’s not about feeling good, that’s not the point, it’s about feelings in general.

I become a prisoner inside my own head and I stop feeling my emotions. This is a very progressive thing and it happens so slowly that I don’t even notice it’s happening, until I hit crisis point. Feeling anything is good because feeling sad or angry and connecting with that emotion automatically brings some serenity. Feeling my feelings helps quieten the inner monologue, as it resolves the conflict of ‘how do I feel’. The whole time I am trying to think how I feel, I do not know how I feel, so I get lost inside my mind, as there is no way of validating my thinking. This is the insanity of my illness and the simplicity of the cure.

I then tried to do some more step work when I got home, but was too tired, so only managed to do a little, which was enough for the chair I had said I would give at my CoDA meeting this evening.

I was amazed at how relaxed and safe I felt at tonight’s meeting. There was 5 of us and my share was pretty intimate in places. I’d been obsessing over it slightly for the last week or so, so much so that I wanted to complete my CoDA step 1 before doing it, but I couldn’t do my CoDA step 1 before doing my AA step 1, so I did my AA step 1 instead. At least it got the AA one down on paper. I’m not a classic alcoholic, but it was a worthwhile exercise to realise that I had become powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable.

So I had some idea of what I was going to share, but I was making it up after about 5 minutes. I feel it went pretty well and I certainly got a huge amount from tonight’s meetings. So much so that I felt very ‘loved up’ driving the last part of the journey home.

I felt like I was connecting with my repressed and suppressed anger and that I was feeling it without being angry. It was strange. I seem to have confused the feeling of anger with angry people, because my anger used to come out as rage when I left it unchecked for long periods of time. Me being angry and in a rage is a scary thing. Not something I like about myself and something I have become fearful of doing, which has actually been a cause of my suppressed anger, as I try to avoid my fear of anger. Doh!

Actually focusing on and stepping into my anger brought a big sense of clarity and focus, as if there was adrenaline in my system, but I didn’t feel angry or out of control, simply energise and alert.

After I stopped for petrol I really started to feel the love and with it a strange sense of magic that I was beginning to connect back into something that wanted to show me something. Like a layer of reality is waiting to be pealed back. The best way to describe it is like there is a grey vial just out of reach, and so everything always looks and feels a bit shit, but when this magic appears, it’s tempting me to lift the vial and witness miracles. I know this sounds kind of crazy and I will continue to check in to make sure I’m not entering into any form of manic period or mania, but I really do start to feel that there is something way more magical and meaningful to life than my usual daily experience leads me to believe.

I was and still am feeling tired after I got home, so I have gone straight to bed and shall hopefully be getting into bed and falling asleep as soon as I hit the publish button.

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